Former Deputy Inspector General Karen Nelson Now in Austin Law Firm

Justice for Medicaid providersKaren Nelson is no longer with the Office of Inspector General.

The former Deputy Inspector General for the HHSC-OIG is now working for the Austin office of the DLA Piper law firm. Nelson apparently left OIG last month. One can draw their own conclusions as to what this signifies.

The following is excerpted from the DLA Piper press release sent out yesterday:

DLA Piper announced today that Karen Nelson has joined the firm’s national Health Care Enforcement and Compliance practice as of counsel in the Austin office. Previously, Nelson served as Deputy Inspector General and Chief Counsel for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s (HHSC) Office of Inspector General.

At DLA Piper, Nelson will focus on advising providers and suppliers on compliance with, and enforcement of, Medicaid and Medicare laws and regulations – particularly in matters involving billing, audits and investigations, corporate integrity agreement monitoring, conditions of participation, privacy, and physician and referral source relationships.

In her role at the HHSC, Nelson directed a team of lawyers tasked with enforcing audits and administrative investigations for health and human service programs involving billions in state and federal tax dollars. She provided legal direction to the office’s 630 investigators, auditors, clinicians and support personnel. She also advised the Inspector General, HHSC Executive Management and state legislators on policy and strategic goals and the implementation of key program integrity provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

In addition, Nelson worked with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in the detection and investigation of fraudulent or abusive activity, and the prosecution of providers, subcontractors and others involved in fraud or abuse. She is a Certified Inspector General and a Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional.

Earlier in her career, Nelson was in private practice and represented governmental entities in complex litigation involving regulatory and compliance issues. Before that, she served as an Assistant District Attorney in the office of the Criminal District Attorney of Dallas County, where she represented the county in civil litigation and appeals, and the State of Texas in criminal trial and appellate proceedings. In that capacity, she was named the 2004 Outstanding Prosecutor Upholding Victim’s Rights in Texas in recognition of her successful efforts to protect crime victims’ privacy rights.

Nelson earned a J.D. from Baylor University School of Law, a B.A. from Texas Tech University, and a M.A. from Southern Methodist University.